Want to Invest Like Buffett: Read 500 Pages a Day

Apr 29, 2013
J. Webster
Comments Off on Want to Invest Like Buffett: Read 500 Pages a Day


There’s an excellent story about Warren Buffett’s two new hires, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, but what sticks out is how Combs heard Buffett speak at his Columbia University investing class and acted on one thing Buffett said and then some. It goes right to the idea of how hard work trumps everything else:

Combs didn’t meet Buffett that day but says, “I still remember it like it was yesterday.”

One of the students asked what he could do now to prepare for an investing career. Buffett thought for a few seconds and then reached for the stack of reports, trade publications and other papers he had brought with him.

Read 500 pages like this every day,” said Buffett, or words to that effect. “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Remarkably, Combs began doing just that, keeping track of how many pages and what he read each day. Eventually finding and reading productive material became second nature, a habit. As he began his investing career, he would read even more, hitting 600, 750, even 1,000 pages a day.

Combs discovered that Buffett’s formula worked, giving him more knowledge that helped him with what became his primary job — seeking the truth about potential investments. Omaha.com

What I love about this Buffett concept is it reminds me of stories you hear about star athletes, say Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant in basketball, who hear how one of their heros practiced a certain number of hours a day or took a certain number of shots per day and proceed to do just that and more. There are tales of how Kobe won’t leave the gym unless he makes a number of shots, for instance. I’m sure there are young kids copying Kobe just like young investors should copy Buffett and read 500 pages a day.

So yeah, turn off CNBC, Fox Business, and even Bloomberg, and get reading.

Hat tip: The Reformed Broker

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